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Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by [Dumas, Firoozeh]
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Length: 210 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This lighthearted memoir chronicles the author's move from Iran to America in 1971 at age seven, the antics of her extended family and her eventual marriage to a Frenchman. The best parts will make readers laugh out loud, as when she arrives in Newport Beach, Calif., "a place where one's tan is a legitimate topic of conversation." She is particularly good making gentle fun of her father, who loves Disneyland and once competed on the game show Bowling for Dollars. Many of the book's jokes, though, are groan inducing, as in, "the only culture that my father was interested in was the kind in yogurt." And the book is off-kilter structurally. After beginning with a string of amusing anecdotes from her family's first years stateside, one five-page chapter lurches from seventh grade in California to an ever so brief mention of the Iranian revolution, and then back to California, college and meeting her husband. In addition, while politics are understandably not Dumas's topic, the way she skates over the subject can seem disingenuous. Following the revolution, did her father really turn down the jobs offered to him in Iran only because "none were within his field of interest"? Despite unevenness, Dumas's first book remains a warm, witty and sometimes poignant look at cross-cultural misunderstanding and family life. Immigrants from anywhere are likely to identify with her chronicle of adapting to America.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Dumas first came to the U.S. from Iran in the early '70s when her father was sent to California on a two-year contract from the National Iranian Oil Company. Her family soon discovered that his presumed skill in English was basically limited to "vectors, surface tension and fluid mechanics." In short, humorous vignettes, the author recounts their resulting difficulties and Americans' almost total ignorance of Iran, illustrating the kindness of people and her father's absolute love of this country. After a brief return to Iran, they came back. This time, however, they were mistrusted and vilified, as a result of the Iranian hostage crisis. Her father lost his job and was forced to sell most of their possessions. Even this harsh treatment didn't diminish his love for the U.S., and they later reestablished themselves, though with a lower standard of living. Throughout, Dumas writes with a light touch, even when, after having been flown to DC by the state department to welcome the shah, they faced death threats and had to leave town. Her descriptions of American culture and her experiences with school, TV, and language (she was once called "Fritzy DumbAss" by a receptionist) could be the observations of anyone new to this country, and her humor allows natives and nonnatives alike to look at America with new insight.
Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 2321 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (December 18, 2007)
  • Publication Date: December 18, 2007
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000XU4UL2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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